This summer I took my first international vacation to a place that has been on my bucket list since 2015 – Morocco. I didn’t know a lot about the country or its history before flying across the ocean. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of the places we visited, the places we missed, and my overall review so if anyone else wanted to venture out to Morocco, they had a virtual guide.
I traveled with my mom and we set foot on an exotic adventure through Morocco and created fun memories along the way. Here are eight cities we visited, and some of our stories from along the way.
Casablanca is the financial capital of the country and home to the largest international airport. We deplaned the red-eye and arrived at our hotel. The hotel staff greeted us with a welcome drink and rosewater flavored cookies. We immediately spit those out and journeyed to our hotel room. We passed out immediately.
The next morning, our guide greeted us and we visited the Mohammed VI Mosque in the center of the city right on the water. The architecture was incredible and is definitely worth a visit. Then we took a trip to the only Jewish museum in the Arab world . After another trip in the car, we were in the political capital, Rabat.
In Rabat, we enjoyed fish on the water and learned about King Hassan II. Then we got right back in the car and drove to Tangier.
Tangier is best known for its location on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. You can actually stop at the point where the two bodies of water meet. A night at the hotel, followed by an early morning breakfast, brought us to Tetouan.
Tetouan is known for having an old Jewish area where many Jews fled after the formation of Israel in 1948. I would not recommend visiting this city as it is very out of the way, and there is not much to see since the Jews fled 70 years ago. The city is small and dirty, and we needed a security guard to guide us through.
After that, we drove to Chefchaouen, which I highly recommend. Travel enthusiasts call Chefchaouen “The Blue City” because of the beautiful, periwinkle blue buildings all over the city. The city is hilly and requires walking shoes, but the views are unbeatable.
Fez was the next city on our list, but just housed us for the evening after a long day of driving. Most people know this city for its craftsmanship and did not disappoint. We saw metallurgy, rug making, tannery, and pottery. Of course, we had to buy something from every spot. And we picked up fes hats for the collection.
We flew to Marrakech, which is the city which most people imagine when they think of Morocco. There are markets and snake charmers and monkeys and aggressive merchants pushing their wares. The landmark the city is known for is the Koutoubia, which is the largest mosque in Marrakech. I recommend seeing this at sunset for optimal photo opportunities!
The next day, we drove two hours to Essaouira, which is a beautiful waterfront city that has a very Portuguese feel to it. I recommend visiting for a relaxing day by the water and a chance to dip your toes in the sand.
The last day, we took a cooking class in Marrakech and hiked up to a Berber village outside the city. This was incredibly interesting to learn about the country’s culture and customs.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Roman cities of Meknes and Volubilis or visit the desert in the south. There are trips that include a night in a tent in the desert, which will be another trip in the future .
Overall, I recommend learning about the rich history that combines African, Arab, and European influences and meeting with the warm, welcoming locals. Morocco is an incredible country and one that should immediately make it atop your travel bucket list.